Village Board Approves Changes to Building and Permit Codes to Streamline Building Permit Process
The Mount Prospect Village Board recently voted to make several changes to the building and permit codes in an effort to encourage investment and development of single family homes. Through the proposed Single Family Reinvestment Program, significant changes were made to the Residential Fire Sprinkler code as well as to building permit fees.
In response to the Village's strategic goal to encourage reinvestment and redevelopment of the single family detached housing stock within Mount Prospect, Village staff undertook several approaches to examine existing policies and to obtain input from those who had recently gone through the process. Staff hosted a series of round table meetings with both residential and commercial developers, surveyed permit applicants and performed internal code and process reviews in relation to the current development and permit codes.
"While numerous issues were raised, the topics of residential fire sprinklers residential permit fees were the most frequently mentioned and significant in the feedback we received," said Bill Schroeder, director of Building and Inspection Services.
Single Family Incentive Program and Residential Fire Sprinklers
Based on discussions with the Village Board and input received from surveys and round table meetings, staff developed a tiered incentive program to encourage the installation of fire sprinklers in new detached single family home construction.
"Right now, developers are finding ways to work around the existing requirement or avoid it all together," Schroeder said. "Our hope is that the revisions will not only encourage more construction and investment, but also result in more sprinkler systems being installed because they will be less cost prohibitive," he stated.
The new sprinkler regulations for new single-family home construction consist of three options. Residents and/or contractors will have the option of installing a full 13D residential fire sprinkler with a 50% reduction of permit cost; installation of a "multipurpose" sprinkler system at 25% reduced permit cost; or installation of Limited Residential Fire Sprinkler System (LRFSS).
New Residential Fee Code
A survey of surrounding communities indicated that Mount Prospect's permit fees were in fact higher than several of the closest neighboring communities.
The Village's existing permit fee structure is based on a percentage of construction cost. The new fee structure will be based on cost per square foot of residential new construction and residential remodels. This will lower costs and allow calculations to be streamlined for permit applicants and contractor project estimates. The residential permit fees for projects such as water heaters, decks, driveways and sewer repairs have also been lowered. Commercial fees remain unchanged and will still be calculated as a percentage of the cost of construction.
Another change involves contractor licensing. In the past, in addition to General Contractors being licensed by the Village, subcontractors were also required to be licensed. This often resulted in significant delays in the permitting process. The Village has eliminated the requirement for subcontractor licensing and will only require General Contractors be licensed.
"We made changes in our processes that were practical and are a solid value to the community," said Schroeder. "We believe these fee modifications will better position the Village of Mount Prospect within the region to capitalize on the market for single-family home redevelopment and reinvestment."
All of the changes described are slated to take effect on April 1, 2018. For more details, visit the Building Division web page, www.mountprospect.org/BuildingPermits.